Fresh from booking their place in the UEFA Europa Conference League final, West Ham United return to Premier League action with a home fixture against Leeds United on Sunday.
The Hammers will face Italian side Fiorentina in Prague next month after setting up their first European final since 1976 with a 3-1 aggregate win over Dutch club AZ Alkmaar, with David Moyes’ men grabbing an impressive 1-0 victory in the Netherlands on Thursday.
It is no secret that West Ham have endured a below-par domestic campaign, winning only 10 of their 36 Premier League games this term. As a result, the London outfit have been battling against relegation for much of the season.
Despite the fact that West Ham have lost four of their last five league matches – conceding 11 goals in the process – Moyes’ men have all but secured their top-flight status thanks to their vastly superior goal difference.
The Hammers can also take confidence from their recent home record, having lost just two of their previous nine Premier League clashes at the London Stadium, with a 1-0 victory over Champions League-chasing Manchester United coming earlier this month.
On the flip side, Leeds United head into the penultimate round of fixtures sitting one point inside the relegation zone, having managed to collect a measly seven Premier League wins this season
To make matters worse for the Whites, they have the worst defensive record in the English top flight, with the number 71 occupying the club’s goals against column, so it is easy to understand why Leeds find themselves in such a predicament.
Sam Allardyce replaced Javi Gracia in the Elland Road hot seat a fortnight ago, but the veteran survival specialist – and former West Ham manager – has taken one point from a possible six so far, extending Leeds’ winless run to seven matches.
Allardyce will also be aware that Leeds have managed to win just one of their last eight meetings with West Ham across all competitions, while the hammers have scored two goals in each of the previous six encounters.
In terms of team news, West Ham have reported no fresh injury problems ahead of Sunday’s showdown, meaning Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca is the club’s only absentee. This could also be Declan Rice’s last home game for the Hammers, as the highly-rated midfielder looks destined for a move this summer.
As for Leeds, Stuart Dallas, Luis Sinisterra and Tyler Adams are all sidelined through injury, while Junior Firpo is suspended. There are also question marks over the fitness of Liam Cooper and Marc Roca.
Fan is the UK can catch the action on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Ultra HDR
Expert Insight: Having punched their ticket to the Conference League final on Thursday, West Ham are bound to be fatigued. Relegation-threatened Leeds will aim to take advantage of the Hammers’ European hangover, but the visitors will struggle to claim all three points at the London Stadium.